Survey of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Diagnostic Testing in US Hospitals, 2012–2013

Su Su; Alicia M. Fry; Pam Daily Kirley; Deborah Aragon; Kimberly Yousey-Hindes; James Meek; Kyle Openo; Oluwakemi Oni; Ruta Sharangpani; Craig Morin; Gary Hollick; Krista Lung; Matt Laidler; Mary Lou Lindegren; William Schaffner; Annette Atkinson; Sandra S. Chaves


Influenza Resp Viruses. 2016;30(2):86-90. 

In This Article


Background Little is known about laboratory capacity to routinely diagnose influenza and other respiratory viruses at clinical laboratories and hospitals.

Aims We sought to assess diagnostic practices for influenza and other respiratory virus in a survey of hospitals and laboratories participating in the US Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network in 2012–2013.

Materials and Methods All hospitals and their associated laboratories participating in the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) were included in this evaluation. The network covers more than 80 counties in 15 states, CA, CO, CT, GA, MD, MN, NM, NY, OR, TN, IA, MI, OH, RI, and UT, with a catchment population of ~28 million people. We administered a standardized questionnaire to key personnel, including infection control practitioners and laboratory departments, at each hospital through telephone interviews.

Results Of the 240 participating laboratories, 67% relied only on commercially available rapid influenza diagnostic tests to diagnose influenza. Few reported the availability of molecular diagnostic assays for detection of influenza (26%) and other viral pathogens (≤20%) in hospitals and commercial laboratories.

Conclusion Reliance on insensitive assays to detect influenza may detract from optimal clinical management of influenza infections in hospitals.